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Floridas Notice of Homestead Procedure

Florida has one of the best Homestead Protections in the Country. However, there is a misconception that a creditor who obtains a judgment cannot record or perfect that judgment against the borrower's homestead property.

Florida has one of the best Homestead Protections in the Country. However, there is a misconception that a creditor who obtains a judgment cannot record or perfect that judgment against the borrower's homestead property.

That myth is false. Further, the creditor could even foreclose its judgment lien against the uninformed borrower, unless the homeowner records a Notice of Homestead to protect the property.

FL Statute 222.01(2) provides the procedure for protecting property under a Notice of Homestead.  The Notice must be recorded with the county clerk of court and sent via certified mail to the judgment creditor - which is one reason the judgment creditor is required to put their address on the judgment. The judgment creditor then has 45 days to dispute the status of the property as the debtor's homestead property. This is very difficult to do assuming the homeowner: (1) lives in the property;  (2) has identification listing the property address; (3) has bills and mail come to the property; (4) has registered to vote using the property; (5) has filed for the homestead exemption; (6) files tax returns and has employment documents listing the property address; or (7) any combination of these factors.

If the creditor fails to dispute the Notice of Homestead, or the creditor does dispute the Notice of Homestead and fails, then the lien is removed from the House - note that just the lien is removed, and the borrower still owes the money. The significance of removing the lien is that now the homeowner can sell the house without having to repay the creditor from their sale proceeds.

The same can be accomplished through Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, beware of those who believe bankruptcy is the only method to remove these judgment liens. The Notice of Homestead procedure is great to use in situations where the borrowers are unwilling or unable to file bankruptcy. Using the Notice of Homestead is also cheaper than bankruptcy - as the cost is typically less than $20 per creditor to record, versus a Chapter 7 filing fee of $306, or a Chapter 13 filing fee of $294.

- Shawn M. Yesner, Esq.

For more information on the Notice of Homestead procedure, judgments, and other debt collection issues, or to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your options, please contact our firm at: 813-774-5737 or email me at: shawn@yesnerlaw.com.

Shawn M. Yesner, Esq., is the founder of Yesner Law, P.L., a Tampa-based boutique real estate law firm that helps clients erase mistakes and eliminate debt by providing options, so they can live the lifestly of their dreams. We assist clients withDebt Settlement, Chapter 7, Chapter 13, banruptcy, liquidation, reorganization, short sales, loan modifications, and foreclosure defense, for clients in Westchase, Carrolwood,Tampa, Odessa, St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Beach, Treasure Island, Medeira Beach, Reddington Beach, Kenneth City, Gulfport, Pinellas Park, Seminole, Clearwater, Clearwater Beach, Oldsmar, Dunedin, Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Lutz, Wesley Chapel, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, and other areas that comprise the greater Tampa Bay area.

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Yesner Law
13135 W. Linebaugh Ave., Suite 102
Tampa, FL 33626

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